First Epoch - America's First Popular Music Epoch 1768-1887
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  500 PRIMARY AND IMPORTANT SHEET MUSIC PUBLICATIONS
DURING THE FIRST EPOCH YEARS OF 1768-1887
 
 

It’s my intent to conduct over a period of years an informal population study of 500 primary and important sheet music publications during the ‘first epoch’ years of 1768-1887. I will be in process over the coming months of selecting the 500 items which will be listed inside of 65 collecting genres. These will not be considered to be the 500 most valuable or significant but will number among the most sought after music publications in all fields of collection for popular American music, singularly published. They will not include broadsides published without music or pieces published only in periodicals or almanacs. They will include non-pictorially illustrated printings in addition to music issued with black and white lithographed title pages and pictorial title pages printed in colors.

I don’t believe any study to determine actual rarity has ever been done, apart from the Star Spangled Banner. It will require input from collectors, information from libraries and archives and visitations to certain archives to do on-site research. I’m hoping it will shed light on what is suspected to be great rarity among many prominent items. It may also allow for a basic ranking of holdings in ‘first epoch’ American music. It’s been believed for a long while that a number of critical first or very early editions of important songs and music lithos exist in ‘single digit’ rarity, with less than 10 copies known to exist.


Transformation Polka, by Thomas Baker

 


The Siege of Tripoli (1805), by B. Carr

  65 COLLECTING GENRES  
 
*18th century important 'firsts'
*19th century important 'firsts'
Abolition
American Business (including inventions)
Architechture (buildings)
Artists
Aves (birds)
Barnum (including circus)
Baseball
Black artists/composers
Black Crook (Broadway dance)
Boston images
California (early publications)
Chicago imprints
Color prints (early- pre-1847)
Civil War
Columbia images
Comic
Confederate
Curiosities (miscellany)
Currier
Dance
Dickens
Disasters
Dixie
Environmental/Scenic
Fantasy
Fauna (animals)
Fire (firemen)
Flags (banners)
Flora (flowers)
Foster (Stephen)
Games
Hunting
Jenny Lind
Light Guard (militia)
Lincoln
Literary characters and allusions
Lithos (early b&w- pre-1835)
Mexican War
Minstrel
Musicians and Composers
Native American/Indian
New York City images
Opera
Patriotic/Military events and images
Poets/Writers (no Dickens)
Political figures
Political party
Presidential
Railroad
Sarony portraits
Schools
Ships/marine/maritime
Sports (no baseball)
Star Spangled Banner (Anacreontic)
Temperance
Texan
Theatre
Transportation (no railroad)
Tripolitan War
War of 1812
Washington (George)
Women's issues/Suffrage
Women's jobs and fashions